BAE says Bahrain wants to buy its Eurofighter jet

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DEFENCE giant BAE Systems yesterday revealed that the Gulf state of Bahrain was in talks about the possibility of buying an unspecified number of Euro-fighter Typhoon fighter jets.

The Eurofighter combat jet is made by BAE and Italian weapons maker Finmeccanica and EADS, which represents of Germany and Spain.

A BAE spokeswoman said: “Bahrain has expressed an interest in Typhoon and the British government are leading very early discussions; BAE Systems is supporting the UK government in these discussions.”

The Eurofighter consortium is targeting exports as its core European governments slash their defence budgets and has so far sold jets to Oman and Saudi Arabia, as well as Austria. It is also vying for orders in Kuwait, Qatar and South Korea, along with Bulgaria and Denmark.

The Eurofighter’s main competitors include Lockheed Martin’s F-35 jet, Dassualt Aviation’s Rafale fighter and the Gripen by Sweden’s Saab.

Bahrain’s King Hamad al-Khalifa, who is currently in the UK, has reportedly told Prime Minister David Cameron he is interested in buying Eurofighter jets to “create a cohesive defence system between the Gulf Co- operation Council (GCC)” nations. The GCC is made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).